Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Steve Kaus on Mickey Kaus

In the course of a diavlog with Bob Wright, Steve Kaus discusses his brother's friendship with Ann Coulter. Which leads to Steve saying this...

"You know Mickey, as difficult as he is, he's not as turned off by right-wing views as you and I are. He doesn't know--like I said, 'Don't you know the good guys from the bad guys, don't you know that Scalia is a bad guy?' and he said 'No.' And so I just think his antenna is set differently from ours."

Then a few seconds later...

"It's true, he takes things seriously that you and I just dismiss as being right-wing nonsense."

I judge Bob Wright and Steve Kaus to be exceptionally intelligent, highly perceptive people. I like reading/hearing their ideas because they almost always lead me to new avenues of thought. But when reading these guys, I tend to hit a wall at some point where I'm just not following their argument. I can re-read and analyze what they've written, but I never completely grok their ideas.

I think the above exchange explains why. I come from a different political perspective than these two men. I imagine they would both dismiss many of my political beliefs as "right-wing nonsense." Since these ideas aren't worth consideration, they get left out of the discussion. Thus leaving a gap between my position and theirs, a gap that I'm left to fill myself. But of course I have to admit that I dismiss many of their views as being left-wing nonsense, so how then to bridge the gap?

This is why I read Mickey Kaus. Not because I agree with him, but because he's willing to step outside the left-liberal-progressive cocoon and take on my ideas directly. And yes, in so doing he actually agrees with some right-wing heresies like "unions are not unequivocally good." Not that this makes him a right-winger, but it does provide just enough of a bridge to allow someone like me to understand and maybe even begin to agree with his left-wing views. Further, having read Kaus for several years now, I begin to even understand the more impenetrable left-wing writers like Krugman, Drum, and even Wright himself. Mickey effectively serves as a Rosetta stone for left-liberal writing.